Patricia thank you for your thoughtful comments. You had asked about the eyewear. It was a between the two sets of glasses and the two masks it was a little uncomfortable from time to time on one area of each ear but we did have them on from the time we left home until after we were in our room at the hotel which was about 8 hours. After that when Keith went back to one set of glasses and two masks when he left our room to run those errands he was fine.
After we posted Keith went out on one final walk. For those familiar with the location of the hotel he walked to the left and made another left to walk with Biscayne Bay on his right hand side to enjoy the views of the Bay along with the vessels sailing the area. It was overcast and by the time he returned to the hotel it was a little misty. Once again the challenge is all of the work being done including portions of sidewalks no longer available for pedestrian traffic. Nevertheless he navigated all around this and enjoyed a lovely walk.
The vast majority of Keith's working career was with MCI; which at the time of its sale was the second largest telecommunications company in the USA behind AT&T. Although the name is no longer in existence it's facilities still exist including fiber optic cable in the largest cities throughout the USA and the markings on the sidewalk were part of a fiber locate likely done in preparation for nearby construction.
As we did on our prior two trips which began in Nassau and Reykjavik respectively we will have our pre-cruise meals in our room. The exception was two meals for lunch at the hotel in Nassau where we were able to dine outside.
For dinner, we had room service along with some wine complement of our travel specialists Gerri and Gabby. We just feel more comfortable this way under the circumstances. One of the nearby restaurants we would enjoy dining at each time we returned to Miami is Pericone's. They had a very unique looking restaurant near Mary Brickell Village. With the land in that area very valuable they sold the property to a developer a few years ago. They planned to open at another location but the two time we returned there were delays and the opening kept being pushed back. Finally they opened but with COVID-19 we didn't feel comfortable dining there. We look forward to the time when we can as we always enjoyed their cuisine and service and the atmosphere, setting and overall ambiance of their found at their former location.
We slept well and that was not very difficult as we were exhausted. While the direct flight was great and we are so happy to be here a 5:40 AM flight meant we were up very early to get ourselves and our home ready and for the drive to the airport. The good news is we feel great and we are happy to be here.
As we mentioned, w've been staying in Miami for our pre-cruise visits starting in 2007 when the Crystal Cruises 2007 World Cruise Gala was held at the Four Seasons Hotel. We remember back then construction was in early stages as many of the low rise buildings were being replaced with high rise buildings. The number of cranes in use was amazing and other than being in Dubai with so much construction in 2007 we had never seen anything quite like this. The 2008 great recession slowed things down as many completed buildings had no tenants and this took a few years to sort out. Eventually things boomed and demand increased and more construction took place and this continues even today. We have seen additional changes since January of 2020, our last stay in the city.
The downtown area boasts many more hotels and restaurants along with a beautiful shopping mall along with many new condominiums and office buildings.
We remember driving through Miami with Keith's parents when they were alive and living in Florida back in the 1980's and had a not so nice impression of the city and in the 1990's when we took cruises from South Florida we avoided Miami and booked cruises leaving from Fort Lauderdale. We also avoided the Miami airport. Fast forward to 2007 and if Crystal had not left out of Miami we might not have realized how much we enjoyed the evolution the city was going through and these days we prefer staying in the city over Fort Lauderdale. Likewise, we prefer Miami airport, particularly Concourse D at Miami International Airport.
After breakfast Keith went on a route he and Anne Marie took often and this was all the way up Brickell, then towards Bayside and onto the bridge which is one of two main routes to the Port Of Miami. He reminisced along the way as he saw familiar sites.
One of the Oceania Vessels is at Terminal J where Serenity will be tomorrow and only one other ship was in port and it looked like an NCL ship. The port was eerie with very few vehicles going in and out and on the way back on the bridge almost no vehicles; absent the many limousines, suv's, and taxis. Keith also notice the center which used to be called American Airlines Center has been renamed. Over the years we attended one to two Miami Heat Basketball games when we would stay in Miami in December or January for several days pre-cruise.
Other places Keith saw along the way was Truluck's where we have dined three different times on New Year's Eve at this location and also in our home state. He saw the Seafair Vessel which conducts sales of art work and makes stop along the East Coast. We often see it in December.
Lots of large groups of bicycle riders on the street, several people jogging, others walking their dog(s) and others just out for nice walks.
When he got back Anne Marie joined in for a walk and we walked back up Brickell and made a right and walked over the bridge to Brickell Key Island home to various condominiums and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. We walked around the island and then returned to the Hotel.
After lunch Keith took another long walk and went wherever his legs would take him.
We will have dinner in our room. We are sticking with the plan we developed for this stay and this included no cleaning service today. Anne Marie called housekeeping and asked for a variety of items including fresh towels so we could avoid having anyone clean the room and avoiding the need to wipe down everything they touched.
All in all a great day. We are getting ready in the afternoon to leave the hotel and make our way to the pier at the designated time tomorrow.
Anne Marie & Keith